We’re halfway through this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and already a handful of titles are causing huge reactions from critics and crowds alike. It’s fitting that the Oscar nominations also came out this morning, because it’s almost like we’re saying goodbye to the old and hello to the new. Out of these five films could come one or more Oscar nominations next year, but whether they’ll all land in theaters the way they landed here in Park City, Utah is completely up in the air. What we can tell you, though, is that these are the films everyone is talking about.
1. Like Crazy – Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones star as a couple navigating their way through a very rocky long distance relationship in this beautiful, yet heartbreaking film about being in love.
2. My Idiot Brother – Paul Rudd leads an all star cast in this comedy about a hippie who moves back home to live with each of his three sisters (Emily Watson, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel), and then proceeds to accidentally cause chaos wherever he goes.
3. Silent House – This horror film from the duo who brought us Open Water is special because it was filmed in one long continuous shot. It follows a girl (played by the younger Olsen sister, Elizabeth Olsen), her father and uncle as they return to an old vacation home to help pack boxes before it’s sold. Once there … well, spooky things begin to happen.
4. The Devil’s Double – Reaction to this one ranges from people who think it’s amazing to those who think it’s absolutely dreadful. Either way everyone is talking about this flick that follows the sadistic atrocities that took place during Saddam Hussein’s time in power, and stars Dominic Cooper in two roles: As Saddam’s son Uday, and as Uday’s double, Latif.
5. Homework – In this film, which was just picked up by Fox Searchlight, Freddy Highmore plays a high school student who’s somehow coasted through school without ever handing in an assignment. The film follows the unlikely friendship he finds himself in with one of the school’s popular, yet complicated girls (Emma Roberts).
6. Honorable Mention: Red State – Kevin Smith’s latest, a horror film about a religious extremist whose cult-like group kidnaps a group of kids – was perhaps the biggest, most talked-about screening at the festival. The film is decent (not bad, not great), and Smith announced that he’d be releasing it himself while taking it on a cross-country tour.